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Car Leasing Explained

An Introduction to Car Finance Options

OVL Group Ltd is the leading distributor for Lex Autolease - the largest small fleet hire company in the UK. We also work in close liaison with other major funders including Arval and Leaseplan.

With offices in Oxford our local support network and the strength of these national financiers provides our customers with the comfort or continuity and an outstanding service and support structure.

With over twenty years experience, a close influential relationship with the important manufacturers and major contract hire companies, we are able to negotiate the very best discounts and competitive finance rates, ensuring unbeatable value for money.

Our personnel have an in depth knowledge of the industry, ensuring that we provide impartial advice on all current models updated information on the taxation implications of your requirements, and help you to decide on the funding and financial arrangements which best suit your individual circumstances.

Attention to detail and a culture based on customer service was recognised in 1997 when we received the Lex Vehicle Partners award for quality of service. Since then we have also won the LVP top distributor award in successive years and has had our reputation for quality further enhanced by winning the prestigious MD's award.

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Contract Hire

Contract hire can reduce the financial burden and eliminate the administrative costs of company fleets regardless of size. It provides a tax efficient risk and optimises cash flow. Your company enters into a hire agreement for a fixed term and a fixed monthly rate. At the end of the contract we retain ownership of the vehicle which is returned to us.

The monthly charge includes the cost of the vehicle, depreciation, contracted mileage, plus any additional services you choose to include. This would normally consist of maintenance and servicing and full RAC breakdown cover.

The benefits are as follows:

  • Low initial payment typically equal to three monthly payments.
  • Monthly costs are minimised due to our discounted buying power and because we can reclaim the VAT on the purchase, this is reflected in your payments.
  • Funding is off balance sheet as all "risk and reward" resides with us.
  • A maintenance inclusive arrangement eliminates all risks and costs associated with a fleet of vehicles.
  • Your monthly costs are fixed, all you have to add is fuel and insurance.
  • Provides you with known costs through the medium term which facilitates enhanced cash flow management.
  • The absence of substantial capital investment enables you to better utilise your capital and credit lines to the benefit of your core business activities.

Contract Purchase

Contract Purchase agreements are most applicable if you are restricted in the amount of VAT which you are able to recover or if you have a number of expensive vehicles (in excess of £25,000 each) in your fleet. You enter into an agreement for the vehicle for a fixed term at a fixed monthly rate.

At the end of this term you have the option to buy the vehicle, by making a final ("balloon") payment which you agreed at the beginning of the contract. You may return the vehicle to us and share in any profit derived from disposal. You will not however have any further payment to make if the vehicle returns less than the agreed "balloon" amount

The fixed monthly payment includes the purchase price, depreciation, mileage and the cost of any additional services you choose to include (maintenance, breakdown cover etc).

You will benefit from the following:

  • Low initial outlay, typically equivalent to three monthly payments, optimising capital utilisation.
  • Fixed monthly costs, assisting with cash flow management.
  • The lowest purchase price due to our volume buying.
  • No exposure to disposal risk.

Finance Lease

This can be a cost effective option if you are looking for minimum outlay, tax benefits, but do not want eventual ownership of the vehicle. Rentals can be paid monthly, quarterly or annually throughout the agreement which is based on the estimated useful life (normally 2 - 4 years).

You may also reduce the monthly payments by making a "balloon" payment at the end of the agreement.

Financing costs are calculated on the VAT exclusive amount significantly reducing your monthly payments.

The vehicle is classed as a balance sheet asset during the agreement, allowing you to offset the rentals against taxable profit.

If the car is used exclusively for business you may reclaim 100% VAT. If the car if also used privately, 50% is recoverable.

On disposal of the vehicle the bulk of the sale proceeds will be refunded to you as a rebate of rentals. This rebate will attract VAT.

Hire Purchase and Lease Purchase

After paying an initial deposit, the balance of the purchase price is repaid by monthly payments. The agreement can be between one and four years and when all the payments have been made you become the owner of the vehicle. These options are appropriate if it is important to you to retain your vehicles as company assets.

Straight-forward payment structures are available. There are a number of flexible options which enable you to increase the initial deposit and/or make a final "balloon payment". This enables you to adjust the level of your monthly costs.

You can also base the repayments on fixed or variable interest rates.

The vehicle is classified as a balance sheet asset which allows you to write down the value against your taxable profits.

The initial outlay is smaller than outright purchase and the spread cost helps you to manage cash flows.

Your vehicles are treated as a balance sheet asset, enabling you to claim capital allowances.

The interest on repayments can usually be offset against taxable profit.

Remember the following considerations:

  • You cannot recover the VAT on the purchase price of the vehicles.
  • All risks of ownership, maintenance, administration and disposal remain with you.
  • You may need to allow for the additional cost of providing internal or third party fleet administration.

Personal Contract Hire

A personal contract hire agreement is the most common form of private car leasing. In this process you make monthly payments to a leasing company over a fixed period in order to drive a car. The car is never yours – effectively you are hiring the vehicle, but over a longer period and therefore at a cheaper rate than a traditional hire car. At the end of the term you simply hand the car back to the leasing company and walk away – or you could choose to take out another lease.

You will benefit from our purchasing power and competitive rates of interest.

There are some restrictions that accompany this form of private car leasing. For example, a leasing company will usually set a mileage restriction which you cannot exceed or else you could be penalised. This is because the leasing company uses this mileage limit to estimate the vehicle’s worth at the end of the contractual period – and therefore this establishes your monthly payments.

Personal Contract Purchase or PCP

Personal contract purchase works in exactly the same way as personal contract hire – but with one twist. This form of private car leasing gives you the option to buy at the end of the lease period.

A balloon payment is established between you and the leasing company at the beginning of the agreement. An estimate is made on what the car will be worth at the end of the lease period – in other words, its residual value or minimum projected cost. Once the lease period expires you can choose to make this payment to take ownership of the car. Alternatively, you can return the car to the leasing company.

Sale and Leaseback for Cars and Vans

It's a cash machine! - Sale and Leaseback - Contract Hire Agreement

Turn your company cars into company cash. If you own company cars, you will have a lot of money tied up doing nothing but carrying the risk of depreciation. No doubt that's a risk you would like to eliminate. That's where OVL comes in. We'll buy your company cars, then lease them back to you. This provides your business with all the benefits of contract hire and a welcome injection of cash, as well as the advantage of moving your fleet off balance sheet.

Here are the main benefits of a contract hire sale and leasback agreement:

  • Increased company reserves - an instant cash injection for your business. The cash released through the sale and leasback purchase goes directly into your business and any outstanding car or van finance can be settled as well.
  • Fixed monthly payments - simplified budgeting because you have a fixed monthly payment to make for each vehicle contract hire.
  • Upgrade to new vehicles - at the end of the agreement, you can trade up to new vehicles with a new contract hire agreement.
  • No depreciating vehicle assets - no need to worry about a depreciating asset.
  • No vehicle disposal problems - the work, cost and risk arising from disposal of your company vehicles is removed and handled by the contract hire company.
  • Maintenance can be included in the contract hire payments - a car or van maintenance package can be built into your contract which provides fixed cost maintenance.
  • Your routine servicing and maintenance is then included within the contract hire agreement and there are no surprise fleet maintenance costs.
  • One transaction - transfer your fleet to the contract hire company and immediately benefit from the administration and risk protection benefits of the fleet contract hire agreement.
  • Balance Sheet - your car and van fleet can be removed from your company balance sheet. This reduces you company gearing and the cash can be used in other areas of your business.

Fleet Car Insurance and Van Insurance

At OVL Group Ltd we recommend First Commercial Insurance Services for your vehicle fleet insurance requirements.

For a number of years, First Commercial Insurance Services have worked closely with OVL Group Ltd. This has given them a great deal of experience in the field of motor insurance for vehicle fleet leasing. Highly competitive quotes can be provided and features can include high introductory no claim bonuses.

Insuring a fleet of vehicles and their drivers effectively is best left to specialists. First Commercial Insurance Services have the expertise and insurer contacts to insure your motor fleet, whatever its size, properly. Their insurance knowledge is more than likely to help save on your annual premiums, whilst our claims team will manage any accidents and issues that require attention and follow up.

Typical insurance cover is given for:

  • Comprehensive, Third Party Fire and Theft or Third Party Only cover
  • Windscreen Cover
  • Full risk management programme available via selected insurers
  • Uninsured loss recovery
  • 24 hour claim
  • Recommended repairers
  • Courtesy cars
  • Third party Liability cover with unrestricted limits

Visit the First Commercial Insurance Services website.